London, Oct 4 (ANI): Gone are the days when French used to be the language of diplomacy in Europe - now, English has taken the top spot, with 66percent Europeans who can now speak the language - according to a survey.
More than 300million use English as their first foreign language and half of these regard themselves as fluent, a Eurostat survey revealed.
It found that English is the first foreign language studied in primary schools in every country outside Britain and Ireland except Luxembourg, where children study German. In secondary schools, English is the first choice in every EU country.
German is the second most common language in Europe, with one in five saying they can speak it, the survey found.
But then why are 1billion pounds a year spent by Brussels translating every official document and speech by EU politicians and bureaucrats into the 23 recognised languages of the bloc?
"It's only right that the EU institutions think carefully about every penny they spend to ensure that they're getting the most from their money," The Daily Mail quoted a Foreign Office spokesman as saying.
"Governments across the EU are reining in their spending - EU institutions should do exactly the same," he added. (ANI)